2015-07-23 Everyone's a Critic
This scene is rated R
Warning: Contains Gore
2015-07-23
Players: Blaise, Tyler
GMed by Who GMed?
Title: Everyone's a Critic

The Grammercy Arts Fest is the first of a proposed annual arts and theater festival and fundraiser, drawing attention from indie artists and big donors, both. The two-day weekend festival is also drawing attention from a lot of locals who are excited about the crafts and free theater performances. Tyler is among them, the lean blond looking summery and handsome in a fitted pink-and-white plaid top, lime shorts, and designer sandals. Starlet-sized sunglasses keep the afternoon glare off, and increase his fabulousness by a significant factor.

Blaise likely has seen Tyler throughout the fest. Sure, people are coming and going, but after wandering around the booths, the vendors, and a few of the stage-areas, some faces are bound to become familiar.

As the sun slumps towards evening, a decent population of the fest starts to bleed off, seeking cabs and public transportation - but they're also getting an ear full of Purifier rhetoric as they leave. An imperious looking woman in her 40s, her face puffy and red with anger, regaling the departing fest-attendees with her anti-mutant hate speech. Two imposing-looking Purifier guards flank her, but it's easy to see that no one is bothering to find her rhetoric offensive. There's even a few people nodding their heads.

Tyler finds himself stuck in a crowd as they all funnel towards the gated exit, almost shoulder-to-shoulder with Blaise. He frowns to the side, "These /people/. Jeeze."

Crowded place. Decently-lit. That's obnoxious. The hate-speech grates on Blaise's nerves, and the only image running through his mind is flaying the flesh from her stupid, fat face. All while her guards, who she should have been able to count on, pool around her headlessly.

Blaise's expression, however, reads as one that's wearied and worn. "Sometimes I think they rant on like this just to feel important. Crazy thing is, why would they wanna paint a target on themselves so bad?" The teen exhales a puffy sigh, his gaze half-lidding. "I mean, it's a good thing there aren't any mutants /here/. It's like she's got no survival instinct."

Tyler glances at Blaise, and then back to the shouting 'reverend.' "Yeah. Good thing." Tyler doesn't put much effort in trying to make that lie sound believable. "I'm… just upset at my /people/. If this was a homophobe? No way would they show up to an event like this. But sheesh. Mutants and fat people: The last minorities safe to abuse."

Blaise's gaze is 'soft'-transfixed ahead on the loudmouth, his mind running wild with all the things he could do to her. The longer he's subjected to her rant, the more he wants to prolong it and make every second count. Oh, she'd beg. She'd apologize. But that doesn't matter.

"I'm not saying I'm one way or the other on this issue," cleanly lies Blaise, "I just don't want to be guilty by association when one decides to shut her up."

"If they're smart, they won't do anything." He sighs out his nose, his lips tightening at the corners as he considers her continuing rage. "These windbags will be on the wrong side of history. Attacking them makes them martyrs and proves their shit rhetoric."

"Maybe," says an abundantly disingenuous Blaise with all the passivity of a human who just wants to be left out of it. "I just don't want the splash effect to rain on me or mine." He finally asides his bright blue gaze to his impromptu conversation partner.

"It'd help if this group could /get moving/!" His voice is elevated enough on the last couple words to come off as more of a commentary on the slow-moving herd of spectators.

"Sure." Tyler has as much pent-up rage as the next mutant - or New Yorker - but Blaise's comfort with passively-aggressively commenting on the pace of egress is something Tyler wouldn't do. It's not classy. Tyler's mutant power is being classier-than-thou. But, since the two are stuck together in this press of humanity, the Xavier mutant tries to change the subject to at least make the time pass pleasantly, "So what brought you to the fest? You a theater fan? I liked the monologue vignettes that they hosted, here. Neat idea to showcase talent."

Blaise may normally be more pleasant, and he's a fine actor, himself - but this feels like an appropriate opportunity to vent a little, if indirectly. He can be plenty direct once they're clear of the crowd. He's still not quite settled on 'what' he'd use for the job, but it's going to happen. Her hate won't spread. People will see there are consequences.

"Mmhm," replies Blaise. Despite his /subtle/ hint, the herd hasn't picked up in pace. "You know, this park has a rich history in the arts - specifically with Shakespearian performances." Beat. "This political junk puts me off the mood, though."

Tyler's eyes slide from Blaise to the ranting woman and back again. "I hope you're not equating this with theater. The conviction is there, but the script is tripe." He makes a wan smirk. But then he breathes a sigh of relief as the press of people starts to open up as they get past the choke point. "Well, enjoy your evening.. nice being crowd-buddies.."

"Yeah," says a dry, fairly humorless Blaise, "maybe next time we'll get to be stuck in a full-on lynching."

As the crowd moves along, Blaise takes the earliest opportunity to dip away from the mainstay and slip away. It takes a few blocks and cautious glimpses to ensure he hasn't picked up an over-eager tail, but he's soon dipping into an alley.

From there, he has plenty of shadows to work with. The hate-mongar and her bodyguards won't see the next sunrise.

Tyler, oblivious to the intents of his 'crowd buddy,' parts ways with a salty smirk. He heads up the street, taking time to take in the various vendors and artisans that were outside the gated bounds of the park, proper. All the while trying to tune out the peaks and valleys of the Purifier's mad ranting.

By now, sunset has given way to twilight. Most of the people shanghai'd into listening to the woman's 'sermon' have departed. Only those who are either intrigued or supportive linger. But of course, give an activist a soapbox, and they can carry on long after the world has lost interest. All they need is an audience.

A monstrous roar rumbles in the sky, immediately pausing the lecture. The source is difficult to make out clearly against the dark sky, but the shape is distinctly abnormal: flapping wings, a long, ropey tail, and big. It moves swiftly, cutting through the air with the efficiency and purpose of a cheetah. As soon as its path becomes clear, those lingering spectators run for cover.

The beast lands its full weight on one of the guards, enough light present to clearly distinguish its details for any close enough to look. Its body is purely black in form, feline, and rippled in visibly dense muscle. Each paw ends in a clutch of curved, obsidian talons, and the aforementioned, flexible tail terminates in a long, pointed stinger. A muscular neck ends in a panther-esque, gnarled face, sporting a pair of blood red pupils in abyssal eyes, and a serrated-tooth maw dripping in black, rapidly evaporating ooze. A pair of massive, hooked batwings stretch from its back, giving a single beat before taking poise at a near-full stance. The creature stands on all fours, but remains a solid 6'.

And all of this just crashed onto one of the bodyguards. The whip-like tail shoots towards the other bodyguard, driving the stinger through his chest like a spike before ripping free again.

(OOC:) Blaise says "Also: http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=wkjp02&s=8#.VbE3tPmtZxM"

Tyler was several blocks down the way, now, happily having procured an iced latte for the trip back to the public transit system. But the roar draws his attention, and as people scatter, the blond mutant stands in shock, witnessing the events unfold.

"No… nononononono…" He has the brief inkling of twisted optimism: Maybe it's a random monster attack. But no, as the beast crashes down on the hate-filled bigots, he knows without a doubt that a mutant is responsible for this.

…and Tyler just stands there, caught between running away and running towards the horror, as his mind locks as to what he should /do/.

…and perhaps, perhaps, part of him is willing to let the hatemongers die.

Zealots come in many shapes and forms. But when a legitimate monster lands atop and subsequently destroys the people who were supposed to protect her, the woman does what most people would: scream. The second guard continues standing several seconds, dumbfounded, before collapsing to the ground.

The beast raises a foreleg and smashes the sizable paw against its first victim's skull with a sickening crunch, and blood oozes in a growing puddle around the clawed digits.

The woman screams a second time and turns to flee the scene. With a preparatory beat of its wings, the beast launches itself from its latest victim, easily covering the distance with a single lunge. Foreclaws bear into her shoulders to drive her down against the ground, pinning her in place.

Tyler is far from combat training. He's not even good at /stage combat/. So this is probably the first time he's witnessed someone's head getting crushed like a melon beneath the talons of some horrible shadow-beast. His visceral utterance of shock seems to just escape his chest and throat as if he'd been punched in the gut, one hand flying to his mouth in horror.

The shock of it all, and the feeling of helplessness - it all mounts on Tyler, and results in a loss of control. For a beat, it looks like the man is smoking from every pore. Then, it's as if there was a vaguely man-shaped cloud where Tyler stood - and a moment later there's a *whump* as sunglasses, an iced latte, a shirt, briefs, and shorts go falling to the ground in a heap atop some tasteful sandals.

The cloud drifts up and away, dispersing slightly, heading vaguely north east along the current of the winds.

Humans are panicking. Screams fill the air. Very few are sticking around long enough to see what the monster does with the woman.

One retreating man pulls the beast's gaze away from its prey, landing on- wait. What familiarity was starting to bloom is eradicated in a literal puff of smoke. The blood red pupils track its movement as it lifts into the air and appears to disperse.

A briefly curious look crosses the monster's disfigured face.

The woman's struggling brings its attention back to her. One foreleg relinqueshes the weight on her shoulder and instead reaches under her chin. The claws hook into her face and begins raking, repeatedly, shaving layers of flesh to the symphony of her screams. It ends only with a sharp twist, letting the mangled remains of what once was a face stare up at the sky - despite the body remaining turned against the earth.

Wings beat a couple times, and the beast lifts into the darkening sky, leaving the scene in carnage.

What better reason to be bodiless? What more convincing thesis to abandon the form of flesh? What would produce a more swaying argument than the horrible screams that bend and clamour up from the dying woman, piercing above the din of the fleeing crowd? Mist's diffuse body is joined by an obfuscating layer of thin cloud cover, seemingly brought on by the subtle shift of cool air that clashes with the humid summer evening.

The beast's wingflaps carry it far too fast for the airy mutant to follow - a fact that relieves Tyler from the awful need to decide if he /would/ follow it, given the chance. Instead, the mutant collects himself - mentally, if not physically - and begins the slow drift back towards the Mansion.

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